Imagine taking a stroll through the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, enjoying breathtaking views of the natural landscape that embraces the city. While visiting the famous Parque Lage you notice an unusual structure inside the central Palace. When you dare to enter the tiny citadel, everything is covered in plastic and overtly orange. You’ve been lured in by the art collective known as Penique Productions. The duo builds customized inflatable balloons that fit and fill their chosen venue, guerrilla style: Penique Productions appropriates the original site that loses its routine to become part of the work getting a new identity. The balloon acts as a border and frames a new space. The container is also the content blurring the idea of the art object. The beauty of this site specific lies in numerous factors: the invasion of space by a vessel that manages to alter the perception of a visitor but does not harm the building in any way; it denies the original textures to shower it with a homogeneous quality; and finally, it works as conceptual exercise in reduction and simplification. It is a variation of minimalism when a classic building, filled with details and adornments, finds itself...
Common Projects footwear defines understated luxury and have become synonymous with quiet, clean, simple sneakers. I have been an admirer of the brand for some time now and considering their collection, in particular, their Spring Summer 2015 collection, designed with minimalist sensibilities, it should come as no surprise to see the New York-based brand featured on Minimalissimo. Common Projects is a collaboration between designers Flavio Girolami and Prathan Poopat. Inspired by the lines and shapes of everyday objects, they design their pieces with a tailored approach, using the finest materials and techniques. The footwear’s refined appearance is exemplified by the designer’s effort to eliminate details and allow the sneakers to speak for themselves. Girolami & Poopat write: We try to do something that is classic and timeless. You only get to introduce yourself once, so we approach each thing like it’s a first impression and we try not to fuck that up. — interview with BoF. Photography courtesy of Common Projects.
The Brick Lamp by HCWD Studio is a minimalist lamp that works very intuitively with a hand gesture. A warm toned light is activated when the lamp is raised and deactivated when laid flat. This clever switching mechanism is designed to work on all kinds of firm and horizontal surfaces. The side facets function as a natural handle and also direct the light when the lamp stands on its side. The lamps weight is engineered to make it stand stabilised. The objective is to capture the moment of light — being concealed and revealed. This unique lighting design would turn a quotidian routine into an enriching experience, providing an unexpected, fun quality to a daily object. The Brick Lamp is multi-functional and one can use the lamp wirelessly. A built-in battery allows the lamp to glow for up to five hours with a single charge. The housing of the Brick Lamp comes in three styles: concrete (light and dark), wood and metal (silver and black). My personal favorite is the metal (silver) edition with the matte finish on the facets and brush texture on the top surface.
DIY is an original and beautifully simple coat rack developed by the Austrian product designer Philipp Divitschek, based in Vienna. As its name indicates, the design is based on the idea of building a minimalistic coat rack by oneself, using materials that can be typically found at regular home improvements stores. The challenge for Philipp Divitschek was to achieve a modern product with a professional appearance. The DIY coat rack is made using just ordinary copper pipes, suitable copper fittings, limiting the unions to 90 degree angles, and simple plumber tools, forming a very interesting asymmetric and functional structure with just three supporting points on the floor. Photography by Martin Croce.
Penthouse V is a holiday home for a family of seven in Pörtschach, Austria. The Austria based studio destilat positioned the penthouse in the roof structure of a 1930’s cinema. The center of the apartment is a kitchen hidden in plain sight. Gray wall coverings and a matching island integrates the area with the apartment’s design, while white covers hide the utilitarian appliances and cabinetry. An extruding fireplace, set in the same gray tile as the kitchen, is the focal point of the living and dining room. The bedrooms surround the main living area, providing plenty of space for the family and guests. Soft gray flooring mingles with the plaster and asymmetrical tiled walls creating a modern yet cozy aesthetic. A mix of lighting, built-in and hanging from the ceiling, keeps the home well-lit in all areas. Every design element in the apartment is child-friendly, allowing this home to be as functional as it is beautiful.
WayPoint’s Libra Lights are a beautiful symphony of converging illuminated lines. Designed by Sara Ferarri Design, and based in Italy, these lights combine for a sculptural feature and seamless lighting element. Each piece is not constrained by another, and as such, there is a fragility to their configuration; a feeling of movement. Each piece, if hung in a collaboration, hangs independently, therefore creating its own dialogue with the other pieces. Available in a brass, gold and polished silver finish, these Libra Lights are a handsome play on lines. Each module stays in balance thanks to weight forces hidden in their own shape and create interesting shapes in space. As part of the WayPoint Atelier collection, these lights result in sculptures of light in midair. Their minimal and lighted-ness add considerable value to any space. Photography courtesy of Federico Marin.
Germany based Eckenberg Academy commissioned Ecker Architekten to build a mono-volume with a special focus on social gatherings and extra-curricular activities. The resulting project is a very special Forum housing numerous multi-function rooms, a library, a wide auditorium, a friendly student lounge and, of course, a cafeteria. For so many diverse practices in the daily life of a campus, something must bring visual coherence to it all, and surely enough, a strong minimalist influence is what it takes. Sporting very obvious and explicit circles all over the forum, the visual repetition brings a surprising visual lightness to concrete; disguised as a double agent for light source and to guarantee proper ventilation throughout the building. Confirming its running motif, the architects chose to employ on selected walls an extension of the circle found at the main hall, and consequently charming round sculptures adorn several rooms to great effect. Preventing any possibility of said building to be considered cold or uninviting, the architects smartly played their final hand employing basic colors on walls and furnishings. The selected furniture does a great job retaining a very modern and slick feel, while still engaging and welcoming any user. A true case study on how...
Dutch designer Naomi Bijlefeld created her first collection of rings, bracelets and necklaces in 2014 under the name OFORM. From the beginning she designed to increase the adaptability of jewelry by creating a simple geometric form language. These minimalist shapes are toned by the use of a broad but well curated choice of material. Bijlefeld works with stainless steel, acrylate and marble. The marble pieces highlight the elegance of the collection, whilst the acrylate shows a more playful side. The quite classic but pure stainless steel items perfectly balance out the above contrast. The current OFORM collection highlights this balance. While staying true to her principles, Naome Bijefeld created a very versatile collection, which will easily adapt to any kind of contemporary minimalist outfit, while always adding a very distinctive look.
Phoebe Philo, current creative director of Céline, is arguably one of the leaders in minimal womenswear. With a solid vision and an unbreakable attitude towards the industry, the designer has taken the brand into the top tier of high fashion. Hidden from public viewers for a period of time, the house finally released the images for their Fall 2015 collection. That kind of exclusivity not only demands the consumers’ attention, but it also gives thoughts regarding the fashion’s economy. Continuing with her obsession over simple and quirky cuts, Fall is coming with many fringes and earthy colors. Boxy trousers and structural coats play a prominent part, shaping a strong silhouette for the Céline woman. Meanwhile, long dresses soften up that image. The featured dress, tied at the front to create subtle folding lines, drapes over the model’s elongated figure and gives some sense of modern elegance. Overall, the collection was a simple one, but surely with a certain newness that keeps minimalism exciting. Philo, keep that legacy going! Photography courtesy of Céline.
Situated in Vallvidrera, a stunning Barcelona neighborhood with excellent views of the city, Vallvidrera House lies on a small land between a valley and a pine forest. This beautiful and totally white single family home was designed by Barcelona-based studio YLAB Arquitectos and was built to cover the maximum amount of square footage on a tight budget, while at the same time positioning the house for great views and to maintain absolute privacy. A smart solution with incredible effects. The structure is a single and compact cube that consists of three levels. The geometry of the volume directly reflects that of the sloped land it sits upon. The façade is covered in a white finish on all surfaces including the roof. The windows are flush with the façade creating a smooth surface. A fine perforated steel fence surrounds the low end of the land. I love how this white cube sits low on the ground in perfect balance with its surroundings and nature. Photography by Marcela Grassi.
Casa Na Xemena is a stunning modern home overlooking the Mediterranean in Ibiza, Spain. Ramón Esteve, a design studio based in Valencia, designed the home in 1995 and completed construction in 2003. The site’s natural landscape was crucial in the design of this home. Most of the structure’s form was dictated by the sea, rocky cliffs, and sun. The exterior features a smooth white façade that reflects the heavy Mediterranean sun and contrasts beautifully with the rough cliffs and blue water. Several outdoor terraces are arranged as viewing platforms to gain the best perspective of the sea. A large infinity pool is positioned at a key point on the hillside, so that the line between the pool and the sea is elegantly blurred. The home’s interior keeps the white walls from the façade and features concrete floors and floating staircases. A sprinkling of windows illuminate the home without allowing too much heat inside. Geometric furniture, some of which was designed by Ramón Esteve, is placed in the interior and by the pool. Casa Na Xemena provides a striking response to a remarkable landscape. The house provides a true relationship with the environment, resulting in a magnificent sensory experience for its lucky residents. Photography by Eugeni Pons...
The Boyscouts’ Parallel Circuit collection is one of curated lines and geometries. Based in the Netherlands, the label is founded on the philosophy of survival of the finest with an emphasis on quality; overtly obvious. Parallel Circuit is a line of varied neck, hand and finger adornments, varying in finish. Featured are the silver pieces, but each is also available in both a yellow and rose gold finish. The naming of the label The Boyscouts, has also been served the same level of level of discipline; where a nod to contemporary fashion meets the aesthetics and tradition of scouting is key. Extending to bags and accessories, the label is one that embodies minimalism through creating small subtle and considered gestures in design. Photography courtesy of Floor Knaapen.